Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Face of Defense: Lance Corporal Provides Leadership

By Marine Corps Cpl. Adam Leyendecker
2nd Marine Expeditionary Force

PATROL BASE WOLFPACK, Afghanistan, April 28, 2011 – “Fire and forget” in military jargon refers to a weapon that doesn’t require further guidance to reach the intended target after launch.

Marine Corps Capt. Christopher L. Buck, commanding officer for E Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and a native of Perry, Mich., refers to one of his Marines as a “fire-and-forget weapon.”

Buck described Lance Cpl. Zach R. Mullin, a team leader in 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Clio, Mich., as a Marine who understands the commander’s intent.

“You tell him what to do, and he’s gone,” Buck said. “He’s one of those guys you hope stay in.”

Even at this early stage in his Marine Corps career, Mullin has earned the trust of the Marines around him.

Mullin’s maturity and leadership “are well above his present rank,” Buck said. “He is one of the best team leaders in the company.”

Mullin, who attended Clio Area High School, helped to develop pattern analysis for E Company’s area of operations during the unit’s deployment. He also was effective in gathering intelligence because of his ability to successfully communicate with Afghans, sometimes without the help of an interpreter.

“He made the local Afghan communities feel comfortable with the Marines, which resulted in him gathering important intelligence,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel R. Cushman, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Madison, Wis.

Mullin gives credit for his success to the hardworking Marines who surround him.

In their first firefight, the toughness of his team was exemplified when fellow point man, Marine Corps Lance. Cpl. Steven Martinez, a native of Santa Barbara, Calif., took cover and immediately returned fire.

Mullin also cited a time when Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas W. Sainz, an assistant team leader in 1st Platoon and a native of La Habra, Calif., showed the platoon’s constant vigilance when he spotted an observer before the insurgents were able to execute an attack.

Mullin said after E Company’s mission is complete in Afghanistan he will go home to his wife, Madison.

“The hardest part about being deployed is being away from her,” he said. “If I could find a way to bring her in my main pack, I could do this for years.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atsugi Eye Doctor Selected for Top Navy Award

By Ben Avey, U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka, Japan, announced that Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Atsugi's Lt. Kyle Dohm has been selected to receive the U.S. Navy 2010 Stanley H. Freed Junior Optometrist of the Year Award April 26.

Dohm was officially notified of the award in a letter from the U.S. Navy's Medical Service Corps Director, Rear Adm. Eleanor Valentin.

"This award recognizes the professional who exhibits the highest Navy core values, professionalism, initiative, leadership, and dedication to the practice of optometry," said Valentin in the letter. "I look forward to serving with you as we lead Navy Medicine into the future."

Dohm's achievements and efforts are unmatched according to BHC Atsugi Officer in Charge, Capt. Mike Warrington. "Lt. Dohm is an exceptional doctor and naval officer," said Warrington. "This award could not have gone to a more deserving person."

According to his award nomination, Dohm has been an exceptional optometrist and naval officer since receiving his commission in 2006. As the only Aerospace Optometrist on mainland Japan, he maintains a large practice in Atsugi and routinely travels to branch health clinics to provide care. A subject matter expert in his area, Dohm has authored multiple professional articles and routinely lectures on aeromedicine with a focus on ophthalmology and optometry matters.

An advocate of efficiency and service, he has restructured multiple clinic processes and utilized new technology to increase patients' access to optometry care, increase specialty services and maintained a 98% patient satisfaction rating.

Humbled by his selection, Dohm deferred credit to the medical and optometry team who join him in caring for families and keeping service members operationally ready.

"Atsugi Clinic has a great team and I'm proud that we are being recognized with this award," said Dohm. "It's truly an honor."

Dohm earned his undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University in Western Kansas prior to earning his Doctor of Optometry from University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Optometry. He became a Naval Aerospace Optometrist and pinned on aeromedical officer wings following graduation from the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Fla. Dohm hails from Sharon, Kan., and is a 1999 graduate of Medicine Lodge High School.

USNH Yokosuka is the largest U.S. military treatment facility on mainland Japan and serves approximately 55,000 beneficiaries at its core hospital facility and clinics in Japan, Korea and Diego Garcia. One of seven clinics, Branch Health Clinic Atsugi is located on board Naval Air Facility Atsugi where it supports the service members and families of the Navy's only permanently forward deployed carrier air wing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chris Briese Named Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division

Director Robert S. Mueller, III named M. Chris Briese special agent in charge of the FBI’s Charlotte Division. Mr. Briese most recently served as deputy assistant director for the Critical Incident Response Group in Quantico, Virginia.

Mr. Briese entered on duty to new agent training at the FBI Academy in August 1987. After graduation, he reported to the Los Angeles Division. He worked a variety of investigations, including bank robbery, interstate theft, foreign counterintelligence and international terrorism matters.

In February 1996, he was promoted to the National Security Division in the Counterterrorism Planning Section at FBI Headquarters. He was a founding member of the Weapons of Mass Operations Unit, where he specialized in chemical and biological terrorism issues.

Mr. Briese transferred to the Minneapolis Division in May 1998 in a supervisory role, overseeing international and domestic terrorism, foreign counterintelligence programs, and the St. Cloud Resident Agency. He established the Minneapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was responsible for the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was successfully prosecuted for crimes related to the 9/11 attacks. In July 2001, he was promoted as assistant special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Division.

In August 2003, Mr. Briese was promoted and returned to FBI Headquarters as a section chief in the Counterterrorism Division. He was responsible for the oversight of half the FBI’s global terrorism operations, including the FBI’s deployment in Iraq, the Saddam Hussein interrogation team, and the investigative team assigned to the Regime Crimes Liaison Office.

Mr. Briese was appointed special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Division in January 2005. He returned to FBI Headquarters in August 2006 and worked in multiple leadership positions within the National Security Branch.

Prior to the start of his FBI career, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University Law School in August 1987. He is married and the father of two teenage boys.

22nd MEU Integrates Leadership Course, Strengthens Blue-Green Team

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Desiree D. Green, USS Whidbey Island Public Affairs

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, At Sea (NNS) -- Marines from 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU), embarked on amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), invited E-4 Sailors to participate in their Corporals Leadership Training Course that began April 18.

The two-week training course is a mandatory requirement for all Marine corporals and is designed to develop their professional growth and foster small-unit leadership. MEUs often invite Sailors they're embarked with to give them a new perspective on leadership which in turn strengthens the blue-green team.

"I think it's important that the junior non-commissioned officers (NCO) know what's expected of us," said Cpl. Spencer Soffel. "I think it's great that the Sailors are joining us for this training. I think it's a good opportunity for them to see how we do things so that they have a better understanding of the Marine Corps because we deploy together quite a bit."

Topics covered during the Corporals Course include Marine Corps history, customs, and courtesies, professional publications, and military justice. The course focuses on the development of strong leadership traits.

"It's very different from the Navy's petty officer indoctrination training," said Yeoman 3rd Class Nicolaus Garza. "It's neat to learn about how they do things. Even though the training for blue and green is very different it all is geared towards the same thing, and that is teaching you how to be a better leader."

Many enlisted personnel assigned to the MEU feel the successful integration of Sailors into the Corporals Course shows promise for more integrated training in the future.

"I think this is going great," said Staff Sgt. Derek Evans, who serves as one of the instructors. "It helps the blue side gain knowledge and understanding of our history and job and vice versa. It also makes these new non-commissioned officers well-rounded and better equipped to handle the leadership and positional responsibility that they now have."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Del Rio Border Patrol Agents Honored for Actions

Del Rio, Texas -- Four agents of the Uvalde Border Patrol station were recently presented the Top Blue Eagle award in recognition of their hard work, dedication, leadership, and their exemplary law enforcement efforts during 2010. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin officiated at the CBP Annual Awards Ceremony at CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 25.

Top Blue Eagle Award recipients, from left: Field Operations Supervisor Jason Penney, Border Patrol Agent Jason Coy, Border Patrol Agent Na’eem Williams, and Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Frank Curtis

Field Operations Supervisor Jason Penney, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Frank Curtis, Border Patrol Agent Jason Coy and Border Patrol Agent Na’eem Williams were presented with the 2010 Commissioner’s CBP Top Blue Eagle Award in recognition of their involvement of a vehicle stop performed last September near Batesville, Texas.

Record checks revealed that the driver had a previous arrest for first degree aggravated sexual assault of a child and was out on bond. Agents also discovered that the passenger was an unrelated minor female, and that they did not know each other.

Under the direction of the Border Crimes Prosecutor, Bethany Stephens, the Zavala County sheriff’s office took custody of the subjects for further investigation. These four agents were commended for their efforts, perseverance, and diligence. A sexual predator was removed from the streets.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Admiral Teams with Chicago Leader to Provide Leadership Lessons

By Lt. Jeffrey S. Gray, Navy City Outreach, Chicago

CHICAGO (NNS) -- High school students from across Chicago and college students from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) were afforded an opportunity to engage and connect with a senior Navy submarine officer on topics of leadership and the Navy's Nuclear Propulsion program April 14.

Rear Adm. Richard P. Breckenridge, deputy director, Submarine Warfare Division, visited Chicago to participate in the 5th installment of the Hyman G. Rickover Leadership Series, hosted at the Union League Club of Chicago.

Along with his participation in the leadership series, Breckenridge also visited with Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets at the Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy, and visited with students, faculty, and staff at the UIC's College of Engineering.

Breckenridge's first stop was the Union League Club where he teamed up with James G. Keane, president and chief executive officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, to speak to 100 Junior ROTC cadets as part of an ongoing leadership series created to enhance the education cadets receive.

The Rickover Leadership Series was established in honor of the late Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, a graduate of Chicago's John Marshall High School in 1918. Adm. Rickover is known as the "Father of Nuclear Navy" and served 63 years on active duty, the longest-serving naval officer in U.S. history.

Breckenridge referred to himself as the son of a lobsterman from New England in addressing the students.

"I had no opportunity to attend college without someone other than my parents paying for it," he said. Breckenridge said that through hard work and "mental tenacity", he was able to attend and graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy with an aerospace engineering degree.

The main theme Breckenridge wanted cadets to take away from his talk on leadership was, the idea of giving themselves over to a higher purpose.

"I view my profession as a naval officer as a calling," he said. "There is a lot of sacrifice involved for those of us who serve in the military. Those who serve and have served do so for the security and prosperity of our nation."

Second to "giving oneself over to higher purpose," Breckenridge stressed that, "Your integrity matters. If there's one thing you take away from (our) talk today apart from patriotic service to your country and being a leader for higher calling — is that your integrity matters. You need to set the example. You need to live impeccably by high standards, and it starts with your own personal honor."

"In my line of work, the U.S. submarine force, we place a very high premium on integrity," said Breckenridge. "When we ask a sailor if he rigged a space for dive, before we open the main ballast tank vents and submerge the ship, and he says, 'yes, sir, engine room level is rigged for dive.' Other people's lives are depending on the honest and accurate report of that individual. Integrity is important. Safeguard it closely in every way. Be trustworthy. Make your word a solemn bond that is understood to be unwavering, and highly respected. Let me tell you there are going to many opportunities, many temptations, many trials, where it'll be easier not to maintain high integrity. It'll be easier to skirt an issue, to cut a corner, to cover up an unpleasantry, but that's when you're going to have stick to your guns and be trustworthy and of high integrity."

Following Breckenridge, Keane opened his discussion by giving his definition of leadership.

"My definition of leadership has two parts: The first part is that a leader is someone who can motivate and influence others," said Keane. "The second part is that they can influence and motivate someone to do something important."

Keane echoed Breckenridge, saying, "I want to borrow something from Adm. Breckenridge's comments, he spoke about serving a higher purpose. In my mind, serving a higher purpose is an essential part of a leader."

In closing the leadership series, Cmdr. Mike Tooker, commandant, Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy and the series' master of ceremonies, said, "several of you, ten years from now, will be in a civilian business and part of your job will be to go away to leadership conferences where you will learn a lot about leadership at a significant cost to your business," he said.

"I've been to a few of these and I can tell you that typically what we've heard today from Adm. Breckenridge and Mr. Keane would cost a business tens of thousands (of dollars) for you to [hear in the future]. The fact that you are getting to hear this now in high school gives you an incredible head start on the competition."

Jacob Smith, a senior at Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville and future student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, the opportunity to discuss leadership with a senior officer was a tremendous.

"Preparing to transition to West Point this summer I had questions about, how a young officer just out of one of the service academies manages the relationships he or she will have with enlisted personnel," Smith said.

"Adm. Breckenridge told us that while we'll to want to be accepted and become a part of the group, I need to resist that urge because it'll be more beneficial for me to be a professional," he continued. "He explained the different aspects of being a professional, maintaining my own personality, and setting goals. He also stressed the importance of setting high expectations for the people I will be leading so they will respect me as a professional."

Breckenridge also visited Rickover Naval Academy where he had an opportunity to learn about the school's mission and to speak to cadet's about his experience interviewing with the school's namesake.

Speaking in front of 70 cadets, Breckenridge recalled the when he was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and making a trip to Washington, D.C., for an interview to join the Navy's nuclear propulsion program.

After completing a lengthy math and science problem solving interview with Rickover's staff, Breckenridge remembered going upstairs for a personal interview with the admiral. As Breckenridge tells the story, "Adm. Rickover's goal was to test your mental toughness. He'd sort of get in your face and try to jar you and to put you on edge in order to see how well you think while you were under pressure."

The point, according to Breckenridge, was that "Adm. Rickover always believed we could do better, that we often times aren't working to our fullest capacity. We get complacent even when we're doing a good job. Rickover challenged us to do our best and strive to be the best. That has stuck with me my whole entire Navy career."

On the final leg of his visit, Breckenridge stopped by the University of Illinois at Chicago and its College of Engineering, where he met with students in the Minority Engineering Recruitment and Retention Program (MERRP) and other science, technology, mathematics degree majors to discuss opportunities and benefits of the Navy's nuclear propulsion program and the challenges and sacrifices of serving in the 'silent service.'

Allen Curry, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said, "The Navy's nuclear program seems to be an awesome opportunity, especially if you really want to grow and learn as an engineer. I'm looking at possibly becoming an officer in the military and the opportunity to gain some insight from a senior officer in the Navy can only enhance my decision-making about which service to pursue."

Navy City Outreach is responsible for enhancing the United States Navy branding by creating opportunities for Navy representatives to engage and connect with youth, educational, civic, government, and business leaders within America's great cities; and, communicate the importance of educating and training future naval officers from diverse backgrounds for leadership roles within the United States Navy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

‘Military Kid of Year’ Has Leadership Qualities

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 – For a 10-year-old boy, Tristan Fissette has fortitude to spare.

The son of Chief Petty Officer Patrick Fissette, a Navy reservist, the fourth-grader is working on his second-degree black belt in karate and has no shortage of other activities that keep him busy, especially when his dad is deployed. Despite the demands of his karate training, he finds time to help feed the hungry and to mentor new students in karate and in school.

Tristan’s leadership qualities led a panel from the nonprofit “Our Military Kids” organization to choose him as one of four Military Kids of the Year.

Tristan and the other winners -- Keegan Neverett, 16, of Leesburg, Fla.; Chris-Shanti Jackson, 15, of Jackson, Miss.; and Katherine Bensburg, 14, of Mahopac, N.Y. -- won year-long grants to pursue their interests. In Tristan’s case, it will pay for his karate training and boot camp.

The organization also named the family of Air Force Senior Master Sgt. William Liston, an Air National Guardsman from West River, Md., as its Family of the Year.

Tristan is the youngest of the four individual award winners.

“I thought it was pretty exciting,” he said at yesterday’s award ceremony. “We were able to come to Washington, D.C., and I’ve never been here or able to get an award.” His face lit up as he talked about today’s special White House and Pentagon tours.

Our Military Kids is a public-private partnership that awards grants to children of deployed National Guardsmen, reservists and certain disabled veterans.

Unlike children from active-duty families, they don’t live on or near a base, surrounded by solid support systems and activities. Rather, said Greg O’Brien of Our Military Kids, these children often are isolated in their communities, where people may not understand what military children go through when a parent is deployed.

“My husband is deployed more often than not, it seems,” said Tristan’s mom, Kimberly Fissette. To fill the time when he was deployed, she added, the family turned to community service near their home in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

“We hand out food at a mobile food bank,” she said. The family also volunteers for “Feed My Starving Children” by sending nutrient-rich foods to children in other countries.

Community service is one of Tristan’s passions, his mother said. When his father was in Kuwait during one of his four deployments, Tristan was 7. It was then the youngster enrolled in karate to stay busy while his dad was away. Before long, he was hooked on the ancient martial art.

“He’s one of the youngest in his karate school to receive a black belt,” Kimberly said. “With his dad gone, he just pursued it above and beyond. Most people don’t get their black belts for three or four years, and Tristan did it in two and a half.”

Tristan quickly moved into upper-level training. Now he trains several days a week.

“You get to do funner things like a sword-sparring class, one of my favorites,” Tristan said, quickly explaining the “swords” are made of foam.

His activities don’t stop there.

Whether at karate or school, Tristan mentors all the new kids, especially if they’re struggling.

“At karate,” Tristan said, “I kinda tell them how to bow and do other karate things. And sometimes if they’re having trouble, I’ll help them.”

He mentors on his own, his mom says. No one asked him to help.
Tristan admits he’s a pretty good student and good with new kids. “I’ll talk to them, and sometimes in math, if they’re having trouble with a problem, I’ll maybe help them out with it,” he said.

Tristan’s 11-year-old sister, Kailey, like many other children at the awards ceremony, won a six-month grant to pursue her interest in hip-hop dancing.

O’Brien said the four Military Kids of the Year were chosen from 150 who applied. Since 2004, he said, the grants have grown and so has the program’s popularity. The organization’s Facebook page has nearly 5,500 members.

“‘Our Military Kids’” has provided 28,000 grants totaling $11 million since 2004, O’Brien said. This year’s four Kids of the Year received grants of up to $500 per six months, and might qualify for six more months if the parent is deployed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guantanamo Commander Talks Professionalism and Provides Mentorship to Chicago Area Students

By Lt. Jeffrey S. Gray, Navy City Outreach, Chicago

CHICAGO (NNS) -- Students, faculty, and staff at two Chicago area high schools and members from local civic groups were provided insight into the operations of the U.S. military's detention facility at Guantanamo, Cuba, here on April 6 and 7 by the detention center's commander.

Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson, Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, came to the Chicago area to provide an overview of the "safe, humane, legal, transparent care and custody of detainees" to students from Barrington High School and the Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy along with civic leaders from the National Strategy Forum and the Union League Club of Chicago.

By coming to the Chicago area, "I hope I gave the students and adults an appreciation for the tremendous professionalism of the men and women down at JTF GTMO," said Harbeson. "It's a remarkable job our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians do day in and day out."

"The guard force," according to Harbeson, "is the most challenging job in the military today. You might think that is pretty bold statement. You might ask, 'How can you make that statement when we have people over in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting right now?' The reason I say that is because when our guards go on the cell block they can't fight back."

"When our troops go to Iraq or Afghanistan they're in their battle gear and when the enemy engages them they can shoot back. Our guards [at Guantanamo] can't," said Harbeson. "The enemy at Guantanamo is tough and battle-hardened because they've been here for the past nine years. When the detainees do something to our guards they can't retaliate - they have to maintain their professionalism."

In his discussions Harbeson talked about the need to provide detainees with a considerable quality of life that includes: communal living arrangements, practicing religion three times a day, three meals a day with six different meal options rotating every 14 days, three different newspapers (USA Today, a Saudi Arabia newspaper, and Egyptian newspaper), 21 satellite television channels, 11 satellite radio channels, telephone and online video conference calls back home on a quarterly basis, free exchange of mail, an extensive library with books in approximately 18 different languages, English and basic computer keyboarding classes, sports exercise equipment, athletic competitions, unlimited lawyer visits, and video games.

"A common question I get is, 'Why do you offer them so much?," said Harbeson. "When you have 172 detainees and 168 of them have not been charged with anything, they are defined as unlawful enemy combatants. I need to have them focused on an English or Art class. I need to have them thinking about the class and not thinking about how to assault or splash a guard with bodily fluids. No one should have to endure that. I need to protect my guard force."

Given the intensity and stress 12 to 14 hour work days associated with guard duty, students and adults inquired about whether there was any sense of normal American life that they could enjoy while deployed to Guantanamo.

Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Resso responded, "The quality of life at Guantanamo is very good. The MWR [Morale, Welfare, and Recreation] has put a lot of money into gyms, sporting events such as intramural football, soccer, basketball - every sport you can think of. They constantly sponsor runs, 5K and 10K. As far as normal life there is a McDonald's, there is an A&W, there is a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut. Most people spend their time working out to relieve stress."

In addition to talking about the day-to-day operations of the detention facility, Harbeson also found time to provide senior mentorship to cadets at Rickover Naval Academy.

Speaking to a small group of cadets, Harbeson highlighted the importance of the values and attitudes they were receiving by attending Rickover. "You are cultivating some important values here. You've got a work ethic and you have high standards. No matter what profession you choose to pursue, the foundation you receive here is what you're going to rely upon for future success both professionally and in your personal life."

Cadet Mikel Sierra of Rickover Naval Academy remarked, "I was impressed that Rear Adm. Harbeson talked a lot about the failures he experienced, how he wasn't sure about what he wanted to do in life, and the importance of perseverance. Keep moving yourself forward and when you fall you need to pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes."

"This was the first time I've done anything like this. It was truly inspiring to see the hope on the faces of these young men and women and to see how they are looking toward the future and the opportunities ahead of them." Harbeson continued, "It was great to have had an experience like this because it reassures me that we have a great generation of leaders ahead of us."

Navy City Outreach is responsible for enhancing the United States Navy branding by creating opportunities for Navy representatives to engage and connect with youth, educational, civic, government, and business leaders within America's great cities; and, communicate the importance of educating and training future naval officers from diverse backgrounds for leadership roles within the United States Navy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bremerton Health Promotion Recognized with 12th Excellence Award

Bremerton, WASH. (NNS) -- The Navy Surgeon General's Health Promotion and Wellness Medical Command award, The Blue H for Command Excellence in Health Promotion, was presented to Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) for the 12th time on, April 8.

"Receiving the award shows that we are not complacent at all in regards to our health, wellness and mission readiness," said Capt. Mark E. Brouker, NHB Commanding Officer. "Our Health Promotion team had a lot of help from a lot of people. The passion for health is palpable by everyone involved. They work hard to promote health and wellness and actively engage in numerous measures to prevent illness, injury and sickness."

"This award is indicative of the high priority that Naval Hospital Bremerton places on prevention and healthy lifestyles," said Janet Mano, Naval Hospital Bremerton Health Promotion Division Head. "It's really an honor to our community partners as well as our health care teams in presenting our 12th award to the command."

Mano notes that a key success for Health Promotion is their continuous outreach to the community. "Most decisions about health and wellness are made at home," she said. "But we also partner will all of our clinics. Our overall goal is in keeping people as healthy as possible and out of the emergency room and not have to patch them up when needed."

What Health Promotion really does is preventive medicine with their health and wellness programs at the deck plates," said Brouker. "It's also reflected in the assistance by others like our command fitness leadership team. They are a good success story. We need all of our Sailors fit. If anyone cannot do the physical readiness test, then they can't deploy and that impacts our mission readiness. All of our active duty personnel are eligible to go on deployment and everyone has got to be ready to do their part. Having Health Promotion help them is huge."

Health and Wellness is defined by Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center as "ensuring healthy living through various sources and education by providing tools to assist individuals in gathering helpful information. The mission is to provide quality Health Promotion products and services with a vision of producing a healthy and fit force. Health promotion and wellness, along with healthy living, continues to address prevention, community health promotion and general wellness."

The Blue H is managed by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center on behalf of the Navy Surgeon General. NHB Health Promotion found out they would be recognized for their 12th award at the annual Naval Medical Clinic Pearl Harbor (NMCPH) conference in March.

"Bringing the award back and then presenting it to the command in front of everyone involved who helped shows we have set the bar high for the commitments and contributions we do," said Mano. "The award reconfirms and validates that we need to continue to advocate for the needed resources to help our beneficiaries. We're on the right track, and we have a lot of staff involved and committed to continued reinforcement of the preventive principles."

For more information on additional programs, services and events on health and wellness, please contact NHB Health Promotion at (360) 475-4541 and to register for classes call TRICARE at 1-800-404-4506.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Intelligence in Action

On the Job with the Director's Briefer

It’s 1 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and Katharine Evans is settling in on the 11th floor of FBI Headquarters. Most of the country’s asleep. But for Evans, it’s time to log into a half-dozen top secret databases and make sense of the moment’s most pressing threats against the U.S., its citizens, and its allies.

Over the next eight hours, Evans will review and research dozens of threat analyses. Then she’ll distill them into a narrative to deliver in morning briefings to the Director, the Attorney General, and the FBI’s top counterterrorism officials. The intelligence is developed across the breadth of U.S. intelligence agencies, including from within the Bureau. But it falls on one intelligence analyst detailed to the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence to boil it down to a coherent 20-minute morning briefing. The pace of the job is intense, weighted by the analyst’s singular responsibility and the gravity of time-sensitive intelligence.

“Not getting things done is not an option,” says Evans, the Director’s intelligence briefer for the past year. “The Director is expecting you to have gone through the reports and pulled out the important information.”

The reports are developed by FBI intelligence analysts and partner agencies, like the CIA, NSA, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and disseminated across the intelligence community. The reports are complied into a book that Evans will be expected to know cover-to-cover by morning.

Around 2 a.m., NCTC issues its latest report. The briefer’s challenge is to glean the most important items to highlight, while at the same time having a sense of the Director’s depth of knowledge to avoid wasting time.

“You’ve got to get to the point and get to it quickly,” Evans says.

The intelligence briefer position resulted in part from post-9/11 reforms that called for better communications among intelligence agencies. In 2003, as agencies increased sharing, the Bureau first enlisted an FBI intelligence analyst with deep counterterrorism experience to deliver the Director’s briefing. Today, briefers like Evans and others who keep the Director abreast of events throughout the day can easily access partner agency databases with a keyboard and mouse.

“Who is this guy?” Evans says to herself, her eyes trained on her monitor. “I recognize this face.” It’s 3 a.m., and she’s looking at a rap sheet of sorts on a suspected terrorist she’s seen before, but the name is new. She consults a binder containing charts she’s amassed to help visually connect the dots. Then she sees it. “That’s who … ok … aha.”

Evans, 35, has always been interested in law enforcement. She studied criminology and interned with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit before joining the Bureau in 2008. She was a public corruption analyst before responding to a call last year for candidates interested in the year-long briefer assignment.

“I thought, ‘Who wouldn’t want to do that job?’” Evans says.

By 4:20 a.m., the night’s intelligence reports are organized in binders for the Director, the Attorney General, their staffs, and leadership across the Counterterrorism Division. The Director’s book is hand-delivered around 5:30 a.m., giving him a couple hours to review it before he’s briefed.

At 6 a.m., Evans stows the food that she never got around to eating. She changes from sweats into a dark suit and runs through a mental checklist of the last five hours.

“Unlike many jobs,” Evans says, “here you have to be at the top of your game at the end of your shift.”

At 6:50 a.m. Evans pre-briefs her bosses to shore up her presentation before briefing—in succession—the Counterterrorism Division, Director Mueller, and Attorney General Eric Holder. Briefings aren’t passive, so Evans makes sure she has answers to potential questions and has invited subject-matter experts to sit in to support their analyses. The result: critical information gets delivered directly to decision-makers who need it to shape how the FBI responds to the most pressing threats.

“What the briefers do is critical,” says Mark Giuliano, head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “They find the intel that rises above the other noise, put context to it, and share it with the people who need it. Analysts and briefers really know how it all fits together, and that’s where the value is added.”

Friday, April 08, 2011

Command Fitness Leader Course Updated

From Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs, and Commander, Naval Installations Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Navy announced improvements to the five-day Command Fitness Leadership (CFL) certification course as well as new resources available to support the physical readiness program in Navy administrative message (NAVADMIN) 118/11 released April 7.

The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), in collaboration with the Navy's Physical Readiness program office (OPNAV N135F), and Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC), completed a comprehensive revision of the course in order to meet Navy education and training requirements for a certified Navy curriculum.

"CPPD was pleased to be able to work closely with our partners in delivering this update to our fitness leaders," said Capt. Chuck Hollingsworth, CPPD commanding officer. "Keeping Sailors fit and operationally ready is one of our goals, and I believe these changes will enable the CFLs to increase Sailor readiness."

An official course identification number has been issued (CIN S-562-0612), and upon successful course completion qualifications will be documented in the member's electronic service record.

Effective May 1, course registration quotas must be requested through the Catalog of Navy Training Courses (CANTRAC), and the complete application package, including all required supporting documentation, must be submitted via e-mail to cfl_training@navy.mil.

Once eligibility has been confirmed, the requesting command will receive confirmation via e-mail. Step-by-step instructions for registration can be found at WWW.NPC.Navy.mil/Commandsupport/PhysicalReadiness/.

"We anticipate the release of the new curriculum in summer 2011," said Lisa Sexauer, CNIC program manager, Fitness Sports and Deployed Forces Support. "This curriculum represents the collective work of many and we feel certain it will better meet the needs of our CFL's. I think we have successfully integrated more relevant exercise content and reduced redundancy therefore providing a more efficient product."

In addition to revising all of the lessons in the course covering such topics as administrative actions and improving Sailors' Physical Readiness Test (PRT) scores, all of the course graphics and exercise demonstrations were updated to ensure CFLs are given the basic tools to safely lead a command physical training (PT) session.

To provide further aid to CFLs, a new CFL page has been created on Navy Knowledge Online (NKO), under the personal development tab. Resources available on this new page include various physical readiness instructions, NAVADMIN messages, physical readiness information system (PRIMS) training videos, body composition assessment training and quota request information.

A new CNIC Physical Fitness website at www.navyfitness.org provides members with an assortment of fitness, nutrition, and Navy sports program information. It also includes deployed forces support such as mobile applications that Sailors can download and use while exercising. The new site also hosts Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series (NOFFS) program resources.

"The focus of NOFFS is optimal operational physical performance and fueling that includes more than 90 exercises," explained Diana Strock, CPPD senior advisor for health and fitness. "It is a series of four separate physical fitness programs designed to eliminate the guesswork in developing Sailor workout routines. It combines human performance, injury prevention strategies and proper nutrition designed for safer training and improving human performance."

For more information refer to NAVADMIN 118/11.

IKE Sailor Named 2010 Junior Physical Therapist of the Year

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zach Allan, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The physical therapist assigned to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) (CVN 69), was recognized as the Naval Junior Physical Therapist of the Year during the Armed Forces Public Health Conference March 18-25.

Lt. Trevor S. Petrou, who doubles as the command health promotions coordinator, as the was honored at the conference which was held in Hampton, Va.

"I've really only been in the Navy for two years and to have this award in such a short amount of time is very humbling," Petrou said.

Petrou, one of 92 physical therapists in the Navy, joined the Navy Nov. 1, 2008 but that was not the beginning of his medical service to the military.

He reached the rank of major after joining the Air Force as a medical officer in August 1997 before leaving the service for personal reasons in 2006.

According to the nomination package submitted for the award, Petrou was cited for his clinical expertise, leadership, community involvement and professional development.

Since reporting aboard IKE Jan. 4, 2009, Petrou has managed the orthopedic needs of more than 5,000 Sailors from the Eisenhower Strike Group.

In 2010, he assisted 15 of the ship's serious orthopedic patients, kept 100 percent of IKE's Sailors mission-ready, and saved 32,000 man-hours of work while the ship was on deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

One advantage to winning this award is getting more challenging assignments, said Petrou.

After he departs the command in late April, he will report to Camp Lejune as the primary sports medicine expert for Marine Special Operations Command.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Face of Defense: Retired NCO Continues to Mentor

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

LAJES FIELD, Azores, April 6, 2011 – Many people know Cynthia Burney as a counselor at the Airman and Family Readiness Center here. But not many may know she retired as a chief master sergeant after 26 years of service in the Air Force.

When she enlisted in the Air Force 33 years ago, Burney said, she knew she was going to get an education. She earned two associate degrees, a bachelor's degree with honors and two master's degrees before she retired.

Cynthia would also gain a husband, Garrick Burney. They've been married 27 years and both retired as Air Force chief master sergeants. Garrick retired three years ago after 30 years of service.

The story of the two retired chiefs began in the 1970s before they met. They had separate goals and came from different backgrounds. But fate and the Air Force brought them together.

While Cynthia came from a military family, Garrick did not. Cynthia's father was in the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Garrick's only military tie was living close to a military base in Indiana.

Coming from a family of 11 siblings, four of Cynthia's five brothers joined the Army. Her goal, she said, was to travel and get an education. She knew the military was one way to achieve that goal.

When she was in the 11th grade, an Air Force recruiter visited her school and talked about the opportunity to go to college and travel the world. Right there, Cynthia said, she knew the recruiter was talking directly to her, and she was going to join the Air Force, despite being in Army ROTC at the time.

Garrick also had a large family, and his parents couldn’t afford college for him. Driven to get a skill that would last him a lifetime, he often worked with summer hires cutting grass for a civil engineering unit and planned to join the Air Force.

When the time came for Garrick to join the service, a job opening happened to come up in the civil engineering department. Unlike Cynthia, Garrick said he wasn’t enticed by any recruiter or his parents to join the Air Force. He was simply attracted to the Air Force by the image of "sharp airmen" who visited his town decked out in their uniforms.

After two years of service as a pavement maintenance specialist, the Air Force sent Garrick to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where he met Cynthia, then a jet engine mechanic sergeant. The pair married two years later.

"We've both always been goal-oriented," Cynthia said. "That is one of the things that really kept us together as a couple."

As an Army brat, Cynthia already knew about discipline. She was used to following rules, she said, so she didn't have any problems after joining the Air Force. Later, she decided to become a counselor.

"I knew I wanted to be a counselor when my fellow coworkers and friends would always come and talk with me about different issues or problems," she said.

"I knew I could make better use of my life's gifts as a counselor,” she said, “and Garrick encouraged and supported me.”

She described her husband as a mentor in teaching her about the Air Force.

Garrick said he also learned from his wife.

"Together, we were able to meld our careers and bounce things off each other about life," Garrick said.

"We never really got to the point where I was telling her what to do, and she wasn't telling me what to do," he added.

Cynthia now is assigned to the 65th Force Support Squadron as the community readiness consultant for the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Though a lot has changed since the Burneys joined the Air Force and met each other, they said one thing hasn’t changed -- the Air Force always needs good mentors.

As a former enlisted member, military spouse and mother of three, Cynthia said, she has vast experience as a counselor, and enjoys continuing her commitment to serve.

Sailors Honor Life and Legacy of First Female CPO

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katrina Parker, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command Public Affairs

BLAKELY, Penn. (NNS) -- Sailors and distinguished guests honored the life and legacy of the Navy's first female chief petty officer (CPO) during a wreath laying and rededication ceremony at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Blakely, Penn., April 2.

Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Avoca hosted the ceremony to pay tribute to Loretta Perfectus Walsh who was also the first woman to enlist on active duty in the U.S. Navy. She was the first Yeoman F, or "Yeomanette," to enlist in World War I.

"We couldn't pick a better day to honor Chief Walsh's contributions," said Lt. Ronald Fauntleroy, NOSC Avoca commanding officer. "Last month was Women's History Month and yesterday was the 118th birthday for Navy Chiefs. Almost 94 years ago, on March 17, 1917, Loretta Walsh became the first woman to enlist in the Navy. In addition, she was the first female chief. Please take a moment to consider the historic gravity of her enlisted service. She volunteered to serve her country at a time when she wasn't even allowed to vote."

Walsh, like many Americans, had hopes and aspirations to achieve her highest potential. When a fair chance to enlist was presented, she was the first in line.

Now, almost a century after her historic enlistment, there are more than 62,000 women serving in the Navy. Today, nearly every Naval community is open to women, who make vital contributions ashore and afloat. Although long and arduous, the progress for women in the Navy has been persistent and progressive.

Twenty five years after Walsh's enlistment, the Navy commissioned its first female officer; by 1974, the first Navy woman earned her gold wings in Naval Aviation. In 1980, the first class of women graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. By 1990, the first female commanding officer was assigned to command a ship. In 2010, Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson became the first female to command a carrier strike group.

"This is the legacy that Loretta Perfectus Walsh leaves behind," Fauntleroy said. "She was a pioneer who led the way for many generations of women to follow. It is both a privilege and an honor to recognize her service and the high standards of the Navy that she's lived up to."

Following Fauntleroy's comments, Navy Reservist Lt. Cmdr. Jeanette Bederman laid three roses on the gravesite of Walsh. Each rose represented a Navy core value; honor, courage and commitment.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Senior Chief Yeoman (EXW) Joann Barnes, assigned to the Third Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment, Fort Dix, N.J.

"Loretta is a role model," Barnes said. "She was the first. She paved the way for the Yeomanettes. She paved the way for women in the Navy. Loretta is the prime example of what you can do when you set your mind."

Tina Conti-Donovan, the great-grand-niece of Walsh, thanked the members of NOSC Avoca for organizing the ceremony. She said she was overwhelmed by the hospitality shown to her and her family by the Navy.

"It is hard to express how grateful we are to all those within the Navy who have worked to ensure that Loretta's achievements are not forgotten," Conti-Donovan said.

She spoke on behalf of her family, saying they wish for Walsh to always be a person that men and women will look to as a source of pride and strength. She also commented on a dream catcher that was put on Walsh's grave. No one is certain where the memento came from, but it will remain on the grave.

"When we arrived here this morning, my father and I had approached her grave, and I was overtaken by seeing a dream catcher on her gravestone," she said. "I don't know who brought that here, but to me it is a striking symbol and metaphor for Loretta. I think she would be so proud to know that she is someone that women look to with their dreams."

Prior to the ceremony, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SS/SW) Rick D. West sent a letter to the NOSC Avoca CPO mess to thank them for their unwavering support to keep the memory of Walsh alive.

"I am impressed by the efforts of the chief petty officers of NOSC Avoca to commemorate Loretta's accomplishments," West's letter read. "They are a dedicated group of senior enlisted leaders and are committed to incorporating her inspirational example of leadership and dedication into their program for developing future chiefs. Again, thank you for supporting Loretta's achievements, and your efforts to keep them invigorated for future generations of Sailors. You can be justifiably proud of her and her remarkable accomplishments."

NOSC Avoca Sailors, Walsh family members, the Olyphant and Dickson City American Legion and Friends of the Forgotten participated in the ceremony. The ceremony consisted of the laying of a ceremonial wreath, the playing of taps, a rifle salute by the American Legion and the presentation of the National Ensign to the Walsh Family. The NOSC Avoca CPO mess has committed themselves to continually up keep and maintain the memorial to preserve Walsh's memory.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Field Office Employees Recognized at National Awards Ceremony

El Paso, Texas – A total of six employees working at El Paso Field Office locations were recently recognized for their achievements during the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. They were among a group of distinguished employees who were recognized for their leadership and achievements during the March 25 ceremony.

In addressing the award recipients, their guests, and colleagues, CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin made clear his appreciation for the 60,000 CBP employees who work together as a team to protect each and every citizen. He said the day was one “in which we can come together and celebrate the actions and the distinctive roles we play in the protection of the American homeland.”

“We honor the past, but we prepare for the future," said Bersin. "Today, we salute the heroes who labor on the frontlines and those who work behind the scenes."

Those from El Paso who were recognized during the ceremony included four CBP Supervisors who work at the Ysleta commercial cargo facility. CBP officers Juan Aguilar, Benito Barron, Hector Herrera and Michael Yanke received the Trade and Facilitation Award for their work on the Ysleta Cargo Facility Diversion Project. The group was recognized for their outstanding ability to oversee and process significant increases in traffic without extending the cargo facility’s hours.

El Paso Field Office Supervisory Mission Support Specialist Christina Daly received the Excellence in Mission Support Award. Ms. Daly was instrumental in identifying and obtaining funds exceeding $10.7 million for construction and repair projects in the El Paso Field Office. Not only has Ms. Daly identified errors in estimates and cost bids on reimbursable work authorizations with the General Services Administration, but she also acquired funding from other governmental sources to support CBP’s construction and operational goals.

Chief CBP Officer and Public Affairs Liaison Ruben Jauregui received the Customer Service and Professionalism Award. Officer Jauregui is recognized for his exceptional dedication. Because of the ongoing issues in Mexico, the Port of El Paso has become a geographical point of interest for members of Congress, government agencies, and the news media. Mr. Jauregui showed outstanding initiative in preparing for port tours, public speaking engagements and radio and television interviews. He also has demonstrated a keen ability for working with senior officials on the federal, state, and local levels.

Prior to presenting the awards, all stood for a moment of silence to honor those brave employees who lost their lives in the line of duty. Their stories of self-sacrifice serve as a chief example of the risks that each employee takes in order to protect the homeland.

Each of the different achievements honored exemplified the complexity of the agency's mission, as well as the fact that integrity is a 24/7 job that is instilled in each and every member of CBP. The stories told of those who received awards reflected the recipients' selflessness and valor. Their actions saved the lives of thousands and protected citizens from potential harm.

Throughout the ceremony, audience members rose to honor the heroes that stood before them. Whether the stories reflected heroism and bravery or simple dedication to the task at hand, it was clear that their work was valued by all.

“This ceremony is a reaffirmation of who we are,” said Bersin.

In closing, Linda Gray of the Office of Human Resources Management delighted the audience with a soulful rendition of ‘America the Beautiful.’ Gray's voice and this song served to remind everyone of the grandeur of America and the importance of CBP’s mission to protect the people who make the nation a source of inspiration to the world.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.